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January 4, 2021

From Headquarters

Applications Due Friday for California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program
On December 30, 2020, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) opened applications for Round 1 of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. Applications for Round 1 of the program are due no later than 11:59pm this Friday, January 8.

Eligible businesses will have their grant applications scored “based on COVID-19 impact factors incorporated into the Program’s priority criteria.” Those factors are overviewed at the Program’s website under the heading “How will grant recipients be determined?” Grant awards will be based on the small business’s annual revenue: small businesses with annual revenue between $1,000 and $100,000 will be eligible for up to $5,000 in grants, those with revenues between $100,000 and $1 million will be eligible for up to $15,000 in grants and those with incomes above $1 million but not exceeding $2.5 million are eligible for upwards of $25,000 in grant funding.

Approval notifications for the first round of applications will be issued beginning Wednesday, January 13. There will be a second (and final) round of applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program in the future, at an as-yet-unannounced date. While CCA will update membership once that second round of applications is opened, applications submitted in the first round of applications but which do not receive a grant award will automatically be considered in the second round, according to the program website.

More information on the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, including links to apply for the program, is available at https://careliefgrant.com/.

COVID Relief Package Includes Significant Provisions for Ranchers
On December 27, President Donald Trump signed into law a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill and a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill. The legislation, previously reported in last week’s Legislative Bulletin, includes critical provisions for cattle and livestock producers.

CFAP for Cattle Producers:
The latest COVID-19 relief package authorizes a third round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), providing additional payment to ranchers for cattle in inventory between April 16 and May 14 (the same period covered by CFAP 1’s Part 2 payments and CFAP 2). The aid comes from $11 billion appropriated for use by the Secretary of Agriculture for COVID-19 relief.

For Slaughter cattle: Fed cattle, Feeder cattle greater than 600 lbs., and Feeder cattle less than 600 lbs., the payment is calculated using the following formula: [(Cattle inventory for the period April 16-May 14 x 50%)(CARES Act Sales Rate – CFAP 1 inventory rate – CFAP 2 inventory rate)].

For Slaughter cattle: Mature cattle and All other cattle, the payment is calculated using the following formula: [(Cattle inventory for the period April 16-May 14 x 25%)(CARES Act Sales Rate – CFAP 1 inventory rate – CFAP 2 inventory rate)]. It should be noted in conducting those calculations that breeding stock and cull cattle were not eligible for CFAP 2 payments.

Based on the bill language, CCA has calculated the following per-head payment rates under CFAP 3. These rates should not be taken as authoritative; CCA will provide greater clarity when USDA releases details regarding CFAP 3:

Category Definition CARES Rate CFAP1 pmt/head CFAP2 pmt/head CFAP 3 pmt/head
Slaughter cattle: fed cattle Cattle with an average weight in excess of 1,400 pounds which yield average carcass weights in excess of 800 pounds and are intended for slaughter* $214 $33 $55 50% x (214 – 33 – 55) = $63
Feeder cattle < 600 lbs. Cattle weighing less than 600 pounds $102 $33 $55 50% x (102 – 33 – 55) = $7
Feeder cattle > 600 lbs. Cattle weighing more than 600 pounds but less than the weight of slaughter cattle-fed cattle $139 $33 $55 50% x (139 – 33 – 55) = $25.50
Slaughter cattle: Mature cattle Culled cattle raised or maintained for breeding purposes, but which were removed from inventory and are intended for slaughter $92 $33 $0*

*Cull cattle/ breeding stock excluded

25% x (92 – 33 – 0) = $14.75
All other cattle Commercially raised bovine animals, excluding beefalo, bison, and animals used for dairy production or intended for dairy production $102 $33 $55**

**Breeding stock excluded

25% x (102 – 33 – 55) = $3.50

($17.25 for breeding stock)

Establishment of a Dealer Statutory Trust:
The bill establishes a Federal livestock dealer trust to ensure that livestock producers are paid for their animals, securing a priority outlined in CCA policy. Note, this provision is identical to the Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act of 2020. 

Grants for Improvements to Meat and Poultry Facilities to Allow for Interstate Shipment:
The bill provides $60 million to make facility upgrade and planning grants to existing meat and poultry processors to help them move to Federal inspection and be able to sell their products across state lines. The bill also requires USDA to work with States and to report on ways to improve the existing Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. This is a modified version of the RAMP UP Act, spearheaded by NCBA earlier this Congress. 

PPP Tax Deductibility:
The bill specifies that forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans will not be treated as taxable income. This is a win for CCA, which joined more than 700 other organizations asking that the provision be included in the COVID relief bill. The legislation also includes $284 billion in a second round of PPP loans and simplifies the forgiveness process for loans under $150,000.

In addition to the above coronavirus relief provisions, the bill contains crucial items for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). According to NCBA, the FY21 provisions relevant to those in the cattle business and livestock sector include:

  • Extending Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) through September 30, 2021;
  • Maintaining the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) exemption for livestock haulers, extending the waiver through September 30, 2021;
  • Addressing the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) shortfall by providing $32 million in funding for FY21; and
  • Renewing exemptions for livestock producers from EPA greenhouse gas reporting requirements for FY21.

The Public Lands Council has noted two additional components of the bill relevant to public lands ranchers. First, the package “provides $115 million for the Bureau of Land Management to continue work in their multi-year proposal to decrease wild horse populations during this fiscal year.” Second, the bill “prevents any funding being used to list the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act during this fiscal year.”

For further information on the legislation, see the upcoming January edition of Hot Irons.

Producer Alert: Be Cautious of Impacts of Acorns on Herds During Drought Conditions
It’s been brought to the attention of CCA staff that there are concerns among producers about drought conditions leading to cattle eating more acorns, potentially leading to health complications and even death. In light of these concerns, here are a few resources that could be useful for producers to avoid complications or death in their herds from acorns being consumed:

  • An article on “Fall and Winter Health Issues in Cow-Calf Herds,” including information on acorn poisoning, ran in the October 2020 issue of the California Cattleman. To read this article, click here.
  • The January 2008 California Cattleman included an article from John Maas, DVM, MS on the dangers acorn consumption can present during drought years in California. To read that article, click here.

CCA urges producers to read-up on the complications that can arise from cattle consuming acorns and act accordingly.

LMRF Raffle Ticket Winners Selected
Last Tuesday, the winners of CCA’s 2020 Livestock Memorial Research Fund (LMRF) Raffle were selected. To watch the selection of the tickets, click here.

This year’s grand prize—a 2021 18’ Swift Built Steel Gooseneck Livestock— was awarded to Marty Hobbs. Bud Sloan was the winner of the reserve prize, a utility/ATV trailer.

CCA thanks everyone who purchased tickets for their support of this scholarship program. A special thank you to American Ag Credit, CoBank and Farm Credit West for once again generously donating the trailers.

US Forest Service to Update Rangeland Management Directives
Earlier this month, the US Forest Service released the text of proposed revisions to the agency’s Rangeland Management Directives governing grazing permits and allotment administration. The proposal includes amendments to the Service’s Rangeland Management Manual, the Grazing Permit Administration Handbook and the Allotment Management Handbook.

The revisions to the Rangeland Management Directives would be the first in 30 years and are intended to make the Directives “more usable, modern and conform to recent legislation,” as well as to provide greater clarity and management flexibility. The revisions are intended to address major themes such as facilitating succession planning and conservation flexibility.

The US Forest Service is accepting public comment on the proposed revisions through Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The Service will also host two informational webinars on the proposed revisions via Microsoft Teams, which can be accessed by clicking the webinar attendee links near the bottom of the page here. The webinars will be held Wednesday, January 6 and Tuesday, January 12 from 9:00am-noon Pacific.

CCA staff will review the proposed revisions in collaboration with our national affiliates at the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and will draft written comments on the proposals by the February 16 deadline.

Rangeland Summit Goes Virtual for 2021, Dates Set for Jan. 26-29
The 2021 Rangeland Summit is set to take place January 26-29, this time as a virtual event. The event—hosted by the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition and University of California Cooperative Extension—consists of four afternoons (1p.m. to 3:30p.m. each day) with speakers and experts presenting around the theme of “Hi and Lo Tech on Rangelands Supporting Ecosystem Services.” To view the agenda and full list of speakers, click here.

Registration is required to participate and is now open for the event. To attend all four days of the Summit, the registration cost is $75. One-day registrations can also be purchased for $25 each day. Additionally, the Summit is offering special student discounts at $15 per session or $40 per day.

Access information for the meeting will be sent out upon registering. To register, click here.

Click here for details on the 2021 Photo Contest, sponsored by Point Blue Conservation Science. The deadline for entering the photo contest is Friday, January 15, 2021.

NCBA Hosting “What to Expect from the 117th Congress & Biden Administration” Webinar on Jan. 14
Join the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) on January 17 from 4-5p.m. PST as their staff in the Washington, DC office runs through what to expect in the next session of Congress and from the incoming Biden Administration. According to the webinar announcement, “This session will explore the incoming Biden Administration, the 117th Congress, and how it all relates to cattle producers. NCBA’s Washington, DC team will cover everything from expected Cabinet Secretaries, potential legislation, use of the Congressional Review and more!” To register, click here.

FSA Announces ECP Signups for 41 Counties Impacted by Wildfire
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is currently accepting Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) applications in 41 California counties affected by this year’s wildfires. Applications will be accepted until January 28, 2021.

ECP provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to help repair land and structures damaged by natural disasters such as wildfire. For example, ECP funds can be utilized for a variety of fencing projects, including “livestock cross fences, boundary fences, cattle gates, or wildlife exclusion fence on agricultural land.”
FSA is now accepting ECP applications in Alameda, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.
FSA recommends that anyone seeking to utilize the ECP first apply with a county FSA office before undertaking repair or rebuilding, as “FSA’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental compliance review process must be completed before any actions are taken.” You can find contact information for your County FSA office here.

ECP funding can cover up to 75% of total repair/rebuilding costs, not to exceed $500,000, and producers may have the option of receiving an advance of up to 25% of the expected repair costs prior to beginning work.

According to an FSA press release, “FSA County Committees will evaluate applications based on information provided and if applicable, an on-site inspection of the damaged land, taking into consideration the type and extent of the damage. Submission of an application does not guarantee that cost-share funding will be provided.

More information about FSA disaster recovery programs, including ECP, is available at www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster.

CCA in the News

For forests resilient to wildfire, the time to act is now CalMatters “The coalition making this request represents a cross-section of organizations committed to caring for the health of California’s natural resources and the safety of its people. It includes prominent environmental groups, the leading agricultural group representing California cattlemen, the California State Association of Counties and responsible-government advocacy groups.” To continue reading, click here.

Coalition calls for state to invest in wildfire prevention The Porterville Recorder “Among those that make of the Coalition are the Defenders of Wildlife, the Wine Institute and the California Cattlemen’s Association.” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

A remarkable high-desert bird may go extinct in California. What must die to save it The Sacramento Bee “I met Mike Byrne and his son, Matt, on a frosty October morning inside their farmhouse, which sits just barely on the California side of the border near the small city of Malin, Ore. The Byrnes keep in their house a picture, dated 1872, of the U.S. Army camped on the field outside their front door during the Modoc War, the final conflict between settlers and the native peoples of this region.” To continue reading, click here.

California’s First Snow Survey of Season is 93% of Average Spectrum News 1 “The snowpack is 93% of average to date, according to the first snow survey of the season conducted by the California Department of Water Resources.” To continue reading, click here.

With a new year, a fond farewell to two colleagues CDFA Planting Seeds Blog “The new year will leave some large shoes to fill in CDFA’s Division of Animal Health and Food Safety Services with the retirements of Animal Health Branch Chief Dr. Kent Fowler and animal health specialist Victor Velez.” To continue reading, click here.

January magazine cover

California Cattleman

Happy New Year! Start off the year by checking out the January issue of the California Cattleman. This issue’s top stories:

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